Monthly Archives: June 2013

20130624 Mystics affirm human dignity 精修者確認人性尊嚴

Archbishop Fulton Sheen pointed out that it seems that there is a crisis about every five hundred years in the history of Christendom. The first cycle of five hundred years was the fall of Rome, and God raised up Pope Gregory the Great to set about conversion of the barbarians and prepared the way for a Christian Europe.

At the end of the second cycle, around the year 1000, there was the Eastern schism and the decline of the holiness in the Church. Gregory VII reformed the Church and prepared the way for the great medieval civilization.

In the third cycle of the five hundred years, there was the Protestant revolt. Pope Pius V applied the reforms of the Council of Trent and established missionary activities throughout the world.

Before his death in 1979, Sheen wrote, “Now we are in the fourth cycle of five hundred years, with two world wars in twenty-one years, and the universal dread of nuclear incineration. This time God has given us John Paul II, who has drawn the attention of the world to himself as no human being has done in history.”

Vatican Council II

            Before becoming Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a bishop. The Council was convoked by Pope John XXIII as a means to make the Church more effective in her ministry to the modern world.

            Vatican II encouraged greater participation of the laity in the life of the Church and stirred the consciences of all Christians to work for unity and peace.

             The Council also opened the Scriptures more fully for the faithful in the liturgy and brought the liturgies closer to the people.

John Paul II

            Archbishop Fulton Sheen pointed out that false mysticism ends in politics. He wrote, “Our times have seen the rise of the Red mysticism of class and party in communism, the Black mysticism of the state under fascism, and the Brown mysticism of the race under Nazism. In other parts of the world, a false mystique uncoiled like a serpent suffocated freedom of speech and suppressed opposition and assassinated those who differed.”

            Pope John Paul II was a true mystic who affirmed the dignity of the human person. He brought out clearly the message of the universal call to holiness. He proposed numerous saints and blessed as examples of authentic Christian living.

            As a pastoral pope, John Paul II loved the people intensely and reached out to all people as their father and pastor.

Mother Teresa

            Another saintly figure of the 20th century is Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Like John Paul II, she was a mystic who affirmed the dignity of the human person. Desiring to satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the cross for love and for souls, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.

            The constitution of the Missionaries of Charity states: “The spirit of our society is one of loving trust, total surrender and cheerfulness as lived by Jesus and His mother.”

            Both John Paul II and Mother Teresa were intensely devoted to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Their words and examples help us to translate the teachings of Vatican II into actions, and equip the Church to face the great challenges of the 21st century.

These challenges include: the question of Islam, the new evangelization in formerly Christian regions, the continuing crisis of dissent with widespread ignorance of the Catholic teachings among the faithful, and the culture of death against the traditional values of family, marriage and life.  

            This article concludes the series of twenty-six articles on Church History. These articles can be viewed on my personal site: http://www.fatheranthonyho.com. 

傅敦.施廉總主教指出,過去的基督徒歷史,似乎每五百年便出現一次危機。首五百年是羅馬帝國的滅亡,天主提拔了教宗大國瑞,他使外族皈化,為歐洲的基督化舖路。

 

繼後的五百年,東方教會分裂,教會靈修式微,幸好教宗國瑞七世,改革教會,為中世紀歐洲文化奠下基礎。

 

之後的五百年,基督教派冒昇,教宗碧岳十世以特利騰大公會議領導改革,建設教會普世的傳教事業。

 

在他離世前,1979年,施廉總主教寫道:「近代的五百年,二十一年內,經歷兩次世界大戰,核戰威脅,教宗若望保祿二世,史無前例地把整個世界都注視著他。」

 

梵二大公會議

 

1962-1965年,教宗若望二十三世召開梵蒂崗第二次大公會議,目的是要使教會在新世代更有效地行使牧職,後來的教宗若望保祿二世當年以嘉祿.胡哲洛主教身份參加。

 

梵蒂崗第二次大公會議通諭普世信眾積極參與教會事務,並為教會合一及和平作出努力。

 

若望保祿二世

傅敦.施廉總主教曾指出:謬誤的神修最終引致政治。在近代有紅色的共產主義、黑色的法西斯主義,和褐色的納粹主義;而另邊廂的世界,又出現壓制言論,和鏟除異己的勢力。

 

教宗若望保祿二世卻是一位肯定人性尊嚴的精修者;他呼籲普世眾人,齊走成聖之路,他同時把多位聖賢,宣福宣聖,把真實的基督化生活,向世人彰顯;他亦以牧職身份、慈父形象,走訪各地,表達對眾人的關愛。

 

德蘭修女

 

          二十世紀另一個聖賢,是加爾各答的真福德蘭修女。像教宗若望保祿二世一樣,德蘭修女也是當代維護人性尊嚴的顯赫典範。她為順應苦架上的耶穌對人靈和愛的渴望,在1950年創辦了「仁愛傳教女修會」。

 

「仁愛傳教女修會」的憲章註明:「本會精神,是效法耶穌和祂的母親去愛的信賴、全然交託,和喜樂。」

 

教宗若望保祿二世和德蘭修女,都特別恭敬聖體內的耶穌,及瑪利亞無玷之心。他們的言行,均活現梵蒂崗第二次大公會議的訓導,並幫助教會能面對二十一世紀的挑戰。這些挑戰,包括來自伊斯蘭教的問題、在昔日聖教勝地重新福傳的困境、對聖教訓導置諸不理的風氣繼續蔓延、對傳統生命、婚姻和家庭價值的攻擊等。

 

本章乃有關教會歷史共二十六章的最後一章。如要重溫,可到我個人網站www.fatheranthonyho.com細閱。

20130617 Martyrs remembered 紀念殉道烈士

On July 13, 1917 the three children of Fatima saw a vision regarding the persecutions during the 20th century.

            The children saw a bishop dressed in white and they had the impression that it was the Holy Father. “Other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”

Countless martyrs

            During the 20th century there were persecutions in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East and Europe.

            Between 1931 and 1939 Spain experienced the greatest Christian mass slaughter since the times of the Roman Empire.

            During World War II, the Nazi regime fiercely persecuted the Church. After World War II, Communist persecutions had become systematic in Eastern Europe.

            Blessed John Paul II said, “Countless numbers refused to yield to the cult of the false gods of the 20th century and were sacrificed by Communism, Nazism, by the idolatry of State or race”.

            On May 13, 1981 John Paul II (the bishop dressed in white) was shot at St. Peter’s Square. After the assassination attempt, it was clear to John Paul II that “it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death”.

Inspiring witnesses

            John Paul II said, “The Church has once again become a Church of martyrs…This witness must not be forgotten.”

            The Holy Father repeatedly urged the faithful to keep alive the memory of the martyrs of the 20th century. He said, “The new generations must know the cost of the faith they have inherited, if they are to receive the torch of the Gospel with gratitude and shed its light on the new century and the new millennium.”

            The Church keeps alive the memory of martyrs especially through canonizations and beatifications.

            Two of the most famous martyrs canonized by John Paul II are St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross or Edith Stein (1891-1942).

            St. Maximilian was a great devotee of Our Lady. He founded the Militia of Mary Immaculate, started a Marian magazine, and established an international center of Marian devotion.

During World War II, St. Maximilian was arrested by the Nazi. At the concentration camp, in reprisal for one prisoner’s escape, ten men were chosen to die. Father Kolbe offered himself in place of a young husband and father. He died a martyr of charity on August 14, 1941.

            Edith Stein was a philosopher who converted to the Catholic Faith after reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She became a Carmelite nun and lived a life of prayer, fasting, and penance. In 1942 she was arrested by the Nazi and was killed in the gas chamber on August 9. 

1917年7月13日,聖母在葡萄牙的花地瑪,顯現給三個小孩,讓他們預見,教會在二十世紀所受的迫害。

 

三個孩子看到身穿白衣的主教,他們一致認定那位就是教宗。路濟亞寫道:「我們見到他和其他主教、神父及修士、修女,走向陡峭的山上;山頂豎立著一個粗製的十字架,有如一株帶樹皮的軟木樹。抵達山頂前,教宗走經一座半被荒廢的大城,不乏頹垣敗瓦,令人舉步唯艱。教宗顯得痛楚和憂傷,他不斷為走經的橫屍亡魂祈禱。到達山頂後,教宗跪在那巨大十字架下,但隨即被一群軍人用鎗及箭射殺,隨後趕抵的主教、神父及修士、修女,甚至包括一些各階層的平信徒,他們遭到與教宗同一的命運。在大十字架下兩旁,站著兩位天使,手執水晶造的灑水棒,用犧牲烈士的血,灑向奔向天主的靈魂。」

 

無數的殉道

 

二十世紀,亞洲、非洲、中美洲和南美洲、中東及歐洲,均發生迫害教會的事情。

 

1931至1939年期間,天主教在西班牙經歷自羅馬帝國以來,最大規模的屠殺。

 

第二次世界大戰時,納粹軍團瘋狂迫害天主教會;大戰結束後,教會在東歐卻遭受共產黨有系統地禁制和壓迫。

 

真福教宗若望保祿二世說:「二十世紀,無數貞忠之士,因為不屈於敬拜異神,又受納粹和共產主義的迫害,再因不容於某些地方與族群,都成為教會的殉道者。」

 

1981年5月13日,身穿白袍的教宗若望保祿二世,在聖伯多祿廣場被企圖行弒受傷,幸保性命。事後他認定是聖母的手擋住了子彈,保了他的性命。

 

激勵人心的見證

 

教宗若望保祿二世曾說過:「教會又變成殉道者的教會;這類血的見證,我們不應忘懷。」他又敦促信眾,常緊記近代的殉道者,並強調「新一代的教友們,要明白承傳信德的價值,以感恩之心接過福音的光,讓這真光在新世紀、新千禧年,發光發亮。」教宗身體力行,以宣聖、宣福慶典,延續和活化對殉道聖人的紀念。

 

教宗若望保祿二世宣聖的人中,兩位廣受世人注目的是聖高比神父(1894-1941),及聖德蘭.本篤十字架(又稱聖依蒂.詩婷)(1891-1941) 。

聖高比熱愛聖母,創立了「無玷聖母軍團」,創辦「瑪利亞報刊」,更設立國際敬禮聖母中心。第二次世界大戰爆發,高比神父被納粹逮捕,1941年8月14日,在集中營代替一名年輕的父親接受毒氣死刑,成了愛德的殉道者。

 

聖依蒂.詩婷是哲學學者,閱讀過聖女大德蘭的自傳後,皈依聖教,且成為聖衣會修女,過著祈禱、齋戒及補贖的生活。1942年被納粹拘捕,同年8月9日,死在集中營毒氣室內。

20130610 Our Lady calls for prayer 聖母呼籲多祈禱

Our Lady appeared at different places in the 20th century, asking for prayer for the conversion of sinners, and promising to intercede for suffering humanity.

Lady of the Rosary

            In 1917, Our Lady appeared six times to three children at Fatima, Portugal. The three children were: Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto.

One of the key messages of Fatima is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as an effective means for the salvation of souls and peace of the world.

Our Lady urged the children to pray and to make sacrifices in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners. She said, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”

The call for conversion is another key message. Our Lady said, “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended.”

On October 13, 1917, Our Lady said, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.”

The Immaculate Virgin

            From November 29, 1932 to January 3, 1933, Our Lady appeared thirty-three times to five children at Beauraing, Belgium.

Our Lady said, “Pray, pray very much.”She also requested that a chapel be built and that people would come in pilgrimage. Our Lady indicated herself as “the Immaculate Virgin”.

In the final apparitions, the children saw Our Lady with a heart of gold surrounded by rays. In the last apparition on January 3, 1933, Our Lady spoke to each of the five children individually. Here are some the messages she gave: “I will convert sinners.” “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always.” “Do you love my Son? Do you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for me.”

Virgin of the Poor

            Twelve days after the last apparition at Beauraing, Our Lady appeared at Banneux, Belgium. Banneux is fifty miles from Beauraing. Our Lady appeared to an eleven years old girl, Mariette Beco, eight times from January 15 to March 2, 1933.

On January 19, Our Lady identified herself as “the Virgin of the Poor”. Our Lady and Mariette went to the spring together. Our Lady said, “This spring is reserved for all the nations —- to relieve the sick.”

On January 20, Our Lady said, “I would like a small chapel”, and on February 11, she said, “I come to relieve suffering.”

In the last three apparitions, Our Lady told Mariette to pray much. Her final message was: “I am the Mother of the Savior, Mother of God, Pray much. Farewell.”

Mother of the Word

Between 1981 and 1989 Our Lady appeared to three young women (Alphonsine, Nathalie & Marie Claire) who were attending a Catholic school in Kibeho, Rwanda. Though there were other people who claimed to experience apparitions, the Church only approved the Marian apparitions that were received by the three young women at the Catholic school.

Our Lady told Alphonsine that she is the Mother of the Word. She said, “I have heard your prayers. I would like it if your companions had more faith because some of them do not believe enough.”

Nathalie is especially known for the message of redemptive suffering and unceasing prayer for a world that is very bad and at risk of falling into an abyss.

A key message given to Marie Claire was: “Repent, repent, repent!”

In 1982 the girls foresaw the genocide that would take place in 1994.

聖母在二十世紀,曾多次顯現,呼籲世人多為罪人悔改而祈禱,並答應為人類苦痛代禱。

 

玫瑰聖母

 

1917年,聖母在葡萄牙的花地瑪,六次顯現給三個小孩:路濟亞、方濟和雅先達。其中一項最重要的訊息,是要為人靈的得救及世界和平,敬禮聖母無玷聖心。

 

聖母敦促三個小孩,為補辱及為罪人悔改多做祈禱和犧牲。她對他們說:「祈禱!多祈禱!特別為罪人多做補贖。有很多的靈魂下了地獄,因為沒有人為他們祈禱和做補贖!」

 

要求罪人悔改,是聖母另一個重要訊息。聖母說:「不要再犯罪,因為天主已太被冒犯了。」

 

1917年10月13日,聖母特別叮囑說:「要在這裡建造一所聖堂,為恭敬我。我是玫瑰聖母。你們要繼續每天唸玫瑰經。」

 

無玷童貞

 

從1932年11月29日至1933年1月3日,聖母在比利時保靈,向五個孩子顯現達三十三次之多。同樣她強調說:「祈禱!多祈禱!」聖母要求在那裡建造一所聖堂,讓人可以到來朝聖。她表示自己是「無玷童貞」。

 

在最後的一些顯現,五個孩子看見聖母金色的心被光環繞。1933年1月3日最後一次顯現時,聖母又與他們個別交談。聖母給他們不同的訊息,包括:「我會感化罪人。」、「我是天主之母,天上母皇。常祈禱。」、「你愛我的兒子嗎?你愛我嗎?那就為我而犧牲自己吧。」

 

窮人的貞女

在保靈最後一次顯現後十二天,聖母在相距五十里的班諾,向十一歲的瑪麗顯現,從1933年1月15日至3月2日,共計八次。

 

1月19日,告訴瑪麗她是「窮人的貞女」,且領瑪麗到一水泉,聲明此水用來扶助病患者。

 

次日,聖母表示要建造一所小聖堂;2月11日強調她「要解除疾苦」。

 

最後三次顯現,聖母還是要瑪麗多作祈禱;她的最後訊息是:「我是救主之母、天主之母。你要多祈禱。再見。」

 

聖言之母

1981年至1989年期間,聖母在盧旺達的基北鶴顯現給雅芳詩、納袒妮和嘉莉。她們在一所天主教學校就讀。後來,雖然有多人自稱經歷顯現,但教會只承認了聖母給雅芳詩、納袒妮和嘉莉的顯現。

 

聖母向,向雅芳詩說:「我是聖言之母。我已聽到你的祈禱。我願意你的同伴們能有更強的信德,因為他們有些人信得不夠。」

聖母對納袒妮特別強調基督救贖之苦,並要她不斷為墮落的世界祈禱。她則要嘉莉告訴世人要悔改。

 

1982年,她們三人預見1994年發生的種族大屠殺。

20130603 Our Lady rebuilt faith 聖母修建教會

In the nineteenth century, while the Church was being rebuilt in France, a number of Marian apparitions there helped to shape the spiritual life of the faithful.

Miraculous medal

St. Catherine Laboure was a religious at Paris. On the night of July 18, 1830 a “shining child” woke her up, and led her to the chapel. Our Lady appeared and talked with her for two hours. St. Catherine was told about her future mission and the difficult times to come.

On November 27, Our Lady appeared again in the same chapel, standing on a globe with shafts of light streaming from her hands towards it, surrounded by the words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Then the vision turned about, and St. Catherine saw a capital “M” with a cross above it and two hearts beneath it. One heart was thorn-crowned and the other pierced with a sword.

St. Catherine heard a voice telling her to have a medal struck according to the visions and promising great graces to those who would wear it with devotion. The medal was called “Miraculous medal”. Numerous graces, including healing and conversion, have been obtained through the wearing of the medal.

Green Scapular

            On September 8, 1840, Our Lady appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, a religious who belonged to the same convent of St. Catherine Labourse. Mary appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart and holding in her left hand a scapular.

The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady holding her heart in her hands, on the other side was the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the inscription: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”

An interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that Mary wanted copies of the scapular made as soon as possible and distributed with great confidence.

On September 8, 1846, Our Lady appeared again, and let Sister Justine knew that the green scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. It is to be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If a person is unable or even unwilling to wear or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to the person, into his clothes, bed, room, or possessions.

A prayer should be said at least once a day: “Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” If the person who is the intended beneficiary of the scapular’s use does not say it, then someone else can say it in his place. The graces obtained through the green scapular are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence of the person praying.

Numerous miracles of healing and conversion have occurred by means of the Green Scapular.

Immaculate Conception

            In 1854, Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four years later in 1858, Our Lady appeared eighteen times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the recess of the Massabielle cliff near Lourdes from February 11 to July 16.

Our Lady instructed Bernadette to drink and wash at the spring of the cave. She also requested prayers for sinners, penance, processions, and a chapel built.

On March 25, 1858 Our Lady said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Miraculous cures occurred in Lourdes, but the blessings there are mainly spiritual. Our Lady said to Bernadette, “I do not promise to make you happy in this life but in the next.”

十九世紀,在法國的聖教會正重新站起來的時候,幾次聖母的顯現,對塑造信眾的靈益,予以莫大的幫助。

 

 

顯靈聖牌

 

聖女加大利納.拉蒲來是法國巴黎的修女。一八三零年七月十八日的晚上,加大利納在睡夢中被一位「發光的小孩」喚醒,引她到修院內的小堂。聖母在那裡顯現給她,和她作了兩小時的談話,告訴她將擔任的使命及將來世局的困難。

 

同年十一月二十七日,聖母在同一地點給聖女以圖案再顯現:只見聖母站在地球上,雙手有異光射出,四週有字句寫著「吁,瑪利亞,無原罪始胎者,我等奔爾台前,為我等祈。」接著那異像轉過去,呈現一個大寫的字母M,上面有一個十字架,下面有兩顆心,一顆心有茨冠覆蓋,另一顆心被利劍穿透。加大利納同時聽見聲音對她說:「照這圖案製成聖牌,聖母將厚賜配戴這聖牌的人。」這聖牌名為「聖母顯靈聖牌」,曾有配戴的人得賞奇異的治癒和皈化。

 

 

綠色聖衣

 

儒詩蒂.碧寶容與聖加大利納同屬一女修院。一八四零年九月八日,聖母顯現給儒詩蒂,右手拿著無玷聖心,左手執著綠色聖衣。

 

聖衣呈小長方形,用綠色布料製成,懸在一根綠線的末端。聖牌一邊印上聖母雙手拿無玷聖心,另邊是聖母無玷聖心像,上面字句寫著「瑪利亞無玷之心,請為我們現在和在臨終時祈求。」

 

儒詩蒂內心有聲音說要盡早複製這聖衣,並懷着大信心去廣傳分發。

 

一八四六年九月八日,聖母再給儒詩蒂顯現,告訴這綠色聖衣跟一般穿著聖衣不一樣(綠色聖衣並不屬於任何個別修會),是一片布料兩面印上聖相,由神父祝聖,欲得聖母轉禱的人均可配戴;亦可放置在那些不願配戴的人,他的枕下、衣服內、房間內等,熱切為他祈禱,仍能得到聖母的轉禱。

 

禱文「瑪利亞無玷之心,請為我們現在和在臨終時祈求。」至少每日誦唸一次,或有人代唸;恩寵的多寡,只看誦唸者內心虔敬的程度。

 

藉綠色聖母聖衣而得奇癒的病者不少,皈依者為數亦眾。

 

 

始胎無玷

 

一八五四年,教宗庇約九世宣告「童貞瑪利亞始胎無染原罪」為當信道理。

 

四年後,聖母在法國露德顯現給聖女伯爾納德:從二月十一日至七月十六日,凡十八次之多。聖母指示伯爾納德飲用巖洞流出的水,並以水洗濯;她要聖女為罪人祈禱、做補贖和出遊敬禮,且要求在原地蓋建聖堂。

 

一八五八年三月二十五日,聖母親自向聖伯爾納德確定:「我是始胎無玷。」

在露德發生了病癒的奇蹟,但主要是靈性上的恩賜。正如聖母向聖女伯爾納德說:「我不許下妳今生的福樂,而是來世。」